Changing "Illustration" to "Figure" in OpenOffice Writer

I’ve decided to try and use OpenOffice Writer properly .. like take advantage of some of its more powerful features rather than just using it as a text editor with formatting.

For drafting manuscripts of scientific papers, pictures/photos/illustrations etc are usually referred to as “Figures”, however when inserting a picture via “Insert -> Picture -> From File ..” the default behavior of OpenOffice is to use the caption “Illustration”. This will not do.

From the OpenOffice Writer Guide, Chapter 8 [pdf], here is how to get it to use “Figure” by default:

• Open the “Tools -> Options –> Writer—> AutoCaption” dialog box.

• Under “Add captions automatically when inserting section“, check Writer Picture, and make sure its checkbox is ticked.

• Under the Category drop-down list, enter the name that you want added,
eg, Figure, in the place by overwriting any sequence name in the list (it will probably have “Illustration”, before you overwrite it.) I also like my Figure label bold, so I also selected “Strong Emphasis” from the “Character Style” dropdown box. Press OK to save the changes.

Now you can insert a Picture using “Insert -> Picture -> From File ..” and the label should be “Figure”, not “Illustration”. The picture comes in its own frame, and you can edit the figure legend directly in the document.

Hmmm … Latex is not looking so bad again ….

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